Long-time Falcons analyst and host of SportsTalkATL’s podcast Talkin’ Birdy, Matt Karoly, reported Wednesday morning that he’s being told that Matt Gono will miss the 2021 season with an undisclosed injury.
I’m being told Matt Gono will miss the 2021 season with an undisclosed injury. Brutal loss to the #Falcons already thin depth at OL.
— Matt Karoly (@mattkaroly) June 17, 2021
The Falcons haven’t yet corroborated his report, but it’s a devastating loss at an already thin position group. I’d assume Terry Fontenot is searching the veteran free-agent market as we speak if it is the case that Atlanta will be without Gono. Even though he was never going to be a long-term starter in Atlanta, Gono was a versatile depth piece taking snaps at right tackle and left guard.
Gono signed his restricted free agent tender this offseason after playing 336 snaps in 2020, which cost the team $3.384 million. It’s unclear if the Falcons will get any of that cap space back if he is unavailable, but it doesn’t seem likely. Each of the different tags (non-exclusive, exclusive, transition) can be withdrawn by the team at any time before the player signs it. However, the tenders are guaranteed for skill, cap, and injury once signed. A tough pill to swallow, but Arthur Smith exudes the “next man up” coaching philosophy. Atlanta will be relying on many unproven players on the offensive line this year.
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